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November 5, 1998
QuestChat with Susanne Ashby

Curriculm Specialist
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Susanne Ashby's featured URL is http://www.lerc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/windtunnel.html

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 6 - 15:30:51 ]
Hello to our early arriving Aerospace Team Online chat participants! Today's Aerospace Team Online NASA chat with Susanne Ashby from NASA Ames Research Center will begin at 4:00 p.m., Pacific Standard Time. Be sure you have read Susanne's autobiography at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright/team/ashby.html before joining this chat.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 7 - 15:31:41 ]
Once the chat begins, Susanne will attempt to answer as many of your questions as she can, but please be patient. At the beginning ot today's chat, the chat will be "moderated." This means that only a few questions will be posted to the chat room at a time. Don't worry if your questions do not appear on your screen immediately. They will be posted as Susanne answers those ahead of you.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 8 - 15:32:27 ]
As a reminder, remember to enter "Your Handle" in the box provided, before posting questions to the chat room. Once you've done this, please let us know that you have logged on for today's chat.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 9 - 15:33:32 ]
At the conclusion of today's chat, we ask that you take a few minutes to let us know what you thought about it. For your convenience, you may use our online feedback forms at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys. We look forward to hearing from you!

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 10 - 15:59:38 ]
Hello and welcome to today's Aerospace Team Online chat with Susanne Ashby from NASA Ames Research Center! As the curriculum specialist on a multimedia team, Susanne designs and writes the information found on CD-ROMs and creates the instructional materials that go with the multimedia. The team that is made up of Susanne (who is an educator), a computer programmer, a graphic artist, a production assistant and recently, a writer. The team develops content and interactive ac tivities found on CD-ROMs. Susanne works with the writer to develop information and content and helps with proofreading and editing. She also designs educational activities and works with the graphic artist and programmer to create the activities and written materials teachers can use in class.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 11 - 16:00:01 ]
And now, here is Susanne Ashby to answer your questions.

[ SusanneAshby/ARC - 14 - 16:06:41 ]
RE: [Deb] Thank you for allowing us as teachers to have this special opportunity to chat with you. (Although registered for this chat, I am unable to be present during the actual chat due to family scheduling conflicts.) Can you explain a bit about how your actual job with curriculum development for NASA is structured? For example, are you involved with developing educational materials for multiple NASA projects/units simultaneously?
It is a pleasure to be here and chat with fellow colleagues. I usually have the luxury of working one main project at a time, taking on side projects on an as needed basis. For example, my first project was serving as writer and curriculum specialist for the multimedia project Exploring Aeronautics. During the development of this project, I was occasionally called upon to develop educaitonal materials for online projects, give informational presentations about the Aero project and design teacher workshops for NASA programs such as NEWEST and NEWMAST.

[ SusanneAshby/ARC - 15 - 16:14:19 ]
RE: [Deb] I teach a special population of at-risk middle school students in grades 5-8. I have noticed an increase in the number of students with poor attitudes about science in general and the need for development of a scientific process to engage in investigations and experiments. These students have no confidence with exploring the "why" questions when they arrive in my classroom. (Right now we're involved with the Right Flying project which they love; but, even then, they needed lots of encouragement and direct assistance with the glider building, etc.) What kind of experience do you have with students like mine? What have you found to be effective in terms of the materials and resources you have helped to create and test?
In my fourteen years of classroom experience, I taught for a majority of the time with 50% or more of my classroom designated as at-risk (Chapter I in CA), special day class (SDC) and pull-out special ed. At one point in time, I had special ed students in my class all day and even had the special education teacher in with me for part of the time. It has been my experience that these children need more experiential learning, "hands-on" followed by heavy small group Socratic dialogue methodology, more concentrated practice time and lots of critical thinking practice in which the students are given direct instruction in how to think. I found that a program out of Arizona called H.O.T.S. (Higher Order Thinking Skills) coupled with a great Study Skills program helps to build not only thinking skills, organizational skills, but also confidence in learning. The HOTS program uses computers w/ commercial software and Socratic dialogue and drama to teach students how to think.

[ SusanneAshby/ARC - 17 - 16:20:30 ]
RE: [Deb] The Exploring Aeronautics and Mars VE CD-ROMs are terrific resources the students love. What kind of multidisciplinary team does it take to complete materials like those? Besides the story boarding, what communication tools are used between team members as they're putting the materials together?
In the commercial industry, the players on such a team usually consists of a computer programmer, a graphic artist, a writer and an educational specialist. Sometimes these roles are expanded by having more than artist or programmer, etc. Adding to this is the marketing team, but they do not assist in the creative development process. We do indeed use lots of flowcharting and storyboarding when creating. We do have set tasks, but often assist each other out of our job description because that's what team players do. Just like in baseball, if the first baseman needs to move in for a bunt, the second baseman must cover first on the play.

[ Deb - 18 - 16:21:03 ]
If you were back in the classroom teaching science to upper elementary and middle school students without constraints of schedule or district curriculum mandates, what and how would you teach these students to instill both a love of science and an appreciate for the process of scientific inquiry?

[ SusanneAshby/ARC - 19 - 16:27:17 ]
Wow, that would be a dream year for teaching, wouldn't it? I would definitely structure the class with a problem-based learning approach which would teach not only the content necessaary to solve the problem, but also impart collaborative learning skills, problem solving skills, inquiry and community service. Students would be required to test their theories before attempting to use them to solve the problem in the real world and be required to interact as in a scientific community. I would, of course, have the most up-to-date lab equipment, technological tools, science experts from the community and interesting real world based problems for the students to tackle.

[ SusanneAshby/ARC - 21 - 16:34:52 ]
RE: [Deb] Please tell us about the structure of a typical work day for you in your work with NASA.
The structure of my day varies depending upon the stage each current project is in. For example, I am in the process of completing one web project and one CD and am gearing up for another educaitonal multimedia project. So my rather loosely structure day might go like this: Meetings sprinkled throughout the day (some informational, some planning meetings), check-in with e-mail, snail mail and phone messages. Develop materials, coordinate with my production assistant about formatting my developed materials, write a report, give a presentation, things of this nature which believe it or not quickly fill up my day and before I know it, it is time to head home!

[ Deb - 22 - 16:35:26 ]
Thank you for sharing. I look forward to checking this chat out in the archives.

[ Sarabeth/Briones - 23 - 16:35:26 ]
I think we should let some kids fly the wright flyer

[ SusanneAshby/ARC - 24 - 16:40:50 ]
Yeah, I think they should let some adventurous adults give it a try, too! But, you know what? It was really only Orville and Wilbur who could successfully fly the 1903 Wright Flyer. (They later made improvements on their 1903 design and went on to manufacture airplanes that any trained pilot could fly.) The 1903 Flyer is incredibly unstable. It is very difficult and dangerous to fly. That is one reason why the AIAA folks, want to test the Wright Flyer in the wind tunnel. They want to make sure it is safe to fly on the anniversary in 2003. Kids probably won't be allowed to fly it, mainly out of safety concerns.

[ SusanneAshby/ARC - 27 - 16:49:24 ]
RE: [Marge] Are you familiar with any online resources about the history of flight or paper airplanes?
There are so many resources to be found on the web regarding paper airplanes and the history of flight. There is a White Wings site, but I do not have the URL handy. Other NASA centers offer web sites and so does the Smithsonian to name a few. See below for more: http://www.nasm.edu/GALLERIES/GAL109/NEWHTF/HTF030.HTM http://www.avhome.com http://www.nasm.edu http://hawaii.cogsci.uiuc.edu/invent/airplanes.html

[ SusanneAshby/ARC - 28 - 16:58:05 ]
RE: [Sarabeth/Briones] Has any one written a ballad about the wright flyer?
I haven't seen any CDs in the music stores or heard any such tune on the radio, but it certainly would be timely if some talented poet or songwriter would pen such a ballad. If you check the Wright Flyer Online web site there is a lesson on how to write a ballad. Sooooooo, if you're feeling up to the creative challenge, check out the instructions and let your creative juices flow. I'm sure the folks at Wright Flyer Online would love to hear your rendition of a Wright Flyer ballad! If you're not up to ballad writing, but would prefer a concrete poem, check out the December contest at Wright Flyer Online.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 29 - 16:58:20 ]
This concludes today's ADTO chat with Susanne Ashby from NASA Ames Research Center. Please let us know what you thought of today's chat at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 30 - 17:01:28 ]
Join us for our next ADTO chat on Tuesday, November 10, with Gloria Yamauchi from NASA Ames Research Center. Learn more about this chat on the ADTO chat schedule page, at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats. You can find out about other chats with NASA experts at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/common/events.


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